Research Findings and Recommendations

University of Louisville
School of Medicine
Strategic Planning Initiative
Research Enterprise Committee
Findings and Recommendations
Research Enterprise Committee
• Ron Gregg - Chair
• Brad Keller
• Hank Kaplan
• Craig McClain
• William Guido
• Melea East
• Scott Whittemore
• Jason Chesney
• Bill King
• Chris States
• Dale Schuschke
• Bill Cheadle
• Nigel Cooper
• Allison Hunter
• Jon Klein
Excelcor Team Members
• Jennifer Donnelly
• Christopher Nickson
• Scott Nostaja
Research Enterprise Committee Evaluation Criteria
The Research Enterprise Committee (the “Committee”) considered whether the
University of Louisville School of Medicine (ULSOM) should focus more broadly on
investments in research across many fields, or take a more focused approach in a
few fields of demonstrated strength.
Based on the current, resource-constrained fiscal climate facing the ULSOM,
and funded research nationally, the Committee concluded that a more
focused approach was the only viable option.
Identify areas of strength based on current or recent levels of
sponsored research in a given field represented the strongest markers
for success.
Identify areas with broad base of expertise, based on number funded
investigators in given area.
Identify areas of opportunity that could impact future success
Research Enterprise Committee General Findings (con’t)
General approach to evaluate each focus area.
Committee members within or with detailed knowledge of these subspecialties made a presentation to the Committee on the current state of
affairs, as well as proposed recommendations.
The Findings and Recommendations within each of the four broad categories
and their associated sub-specialties are detailed in the following pages.
Research Enterprise Committee General Findings
Four focus areas represent >70% total funding for research at ULSOM
Cardiovascular Diseases
Metabolic Diseases
Areas of Opportunity
Environmental Health
Immunology /Infectious diseases
Research Enterprise Major Goals:
1. Improve NIH ranking from 77 to 60 in ten years ( 30% increase).
2. Integrate Clinical Centers of Excellence with Basic Science departments
3. Enhance NIH supported Training
4. Facilitate Clinical Research
5. Enhance Cancer Center Portfolio
6. Increase Research Endowment Funds
Research Enterprise Major Strategies
1. Increase number of Research Faculty by replacing VSIP lines with faculty in
areas of excellence by using Clinical/Basic Science co-recruitment. Target: 2/3
new faculty per area per year.
2. Create informatics Center/Division.
3. Double NIH multi-investigator grants (P and U series)
4. Double NIH Training Grants (F, K and T series)
5. Create robust investigator and industry initiated clinical trials program
6. Upgrade research core facilities
7. Enhance vivarium capacity (surgical and holding)
8. Improve Infrastructure (see next slide for details)
Common Infrastructure Recommendations:
1. Integrate and align EVPHA and EVPRI research missions
2. Develop effective infrastructure for clinical research
3. Create informatics division or center to support research and service in informatics (i.e. recruit
a nationally recognized leader and assoicated faculty using cluster hire)
4. Create sufficient bridge grant funding to insure lab/investigator viability.
5. Scientific integration of core facilities (e.g., microarray, proteomics, genomics, transgenic
animals, protein expression) and provide stable support structures (faculty and staff).
6. Upgrade and integrate cancer bio-repository to collect samples system wide.
7. Add Physician/ Scientist to the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT).
8. Shorten time to implement Industry/UofL contracts to National norms.
9. Provide adequate funding for Office of Grants Management.
10. Improve efficiency and integration of regulatory committee efficiency (IRB, IBC, IACUC).
11. Implement a metrics/tracking program to assess the program success.
Cancer Findings
Clinical Relevance.
Cancer is major cause of death in KY and worldwide. The long-term objectives are to
reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by cancer, as well as all human diseases,
through a combination of target discovery and drug development
Areas of Strength
JGBCC is nationally known organization supporting 72 clinical and scientific faculty
Outstanding programs: Molecular Targets, Tumor Immunology, Cancer Control, Structural
Biology/Metabolomics and Experimental Therapeutics
Accredited Clinical programs: Bone Marrow Transplantation; Radiation Oncology
The largest cancer clinical trials program in Kentucky (146 open trials; and
a nationally-recognized cancer outreach program, the "Kentucky Cancer Program"
Cancer Recommendations
1. Increase number of faculty studying cancer by collaborating with basic sciences
2. Create synthetic chemistry core to develop new therapeutics
3. Upgrade metabolomics facility (equipment) and add personnel, including informatics
4. Strengthen Clinical trials program by creating integrated support infrastructure
Neuroscience Findings
Clinical Relevance
Cellular mechanisms underlying neural repair and neurologically based disorders:
spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, Epilepsy, Autism, and degenerative diseases
including Alzheimers, ALS, Parkinsons, macular degeneration, and glaucoma
Areas of Strength
KSCIRC is an internationally recognized center of excellence supporting both basic and
clinical scientists with centralized labs for animal and human studies
Kentucky Lions Eye Center
CNS Injury, Rehabilitation, and Repair
Sensory Systems: Vision, Taste, and Somatosensation
Area of opportunity in neuroscience
Neuroscience Recommendations:
1. Develop a Neuroimaging Center of Excellence that will
include multiple faculty lines, equipment, personnel support and a Core Facility.
recruit investigators using small animal MRI and intravital two photon microscopy.
target Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN)
2. Develop University wide expertise in Neuroimmunology because it is central to the research
portfolios in all four focus areas
recruit faculty using interdepartmental cluster hires
Cardiovascular Disease Findings
Clinical Relevance
Cardiovascular Diseases are a major burden for children and adults both regionally and
Areas of Strength
Internationally recognized Molecular Cardiology Institute
Cardiovascular Innovation Institute for tissue engineering and device design and testing
State of the art facilities and major clinical hospital and community partners.
Well established relationships with leading academic centers, federal agencies, and
industry sponsors.
Area of opportunity
Broaden base of research focus to extend beyond stem cell and device testing
Cardiovascular Disease Recommendations
1. Increase the number of faculty with cardiovascular research expertise to broaden the
base of expertise beyond current focus areas.
2. Expand model organism large animal holding, surgical and testing capacity
3. Develop integrated undergraduate and graduate research programs with Biomedical
Engineering groups on the Belknap campus.
4. Establish an integrated Center for Regenerative Cardiovascular Medicine that
incorporates all current relevant technologies towards first in human applications.
Metabolic Diseases Findings
Clinical Relevance
Diabetes, obesity, kidney diseases, alcohol abuse and other metabolic diseases
have a major impact on the public health of both regionally and nationally
Areas of Strength
Alcohol Research Center supporting both clinical and basic scientists
NIH-funded COBRE with excellent basic science investigators, including those in
environmental toxicology.
Metabolic related diseases have strong links with other identified areas of
excellence (e.g., Cancer, Neuroscience and Cardiovascular).
Nationally-recognized physician leaders in digestive health and kidney research
Areas of opportunity
Obesity and diabetes
Pediatric based research
Environment/Nutrition impact on Metabolic Diseases
Metabolic Diseases Recommendations
Create a leadership team to implement/facilitate: a) focused critical hires, b) coordinated
program direction, c) shared local resources, d) collaborations with other institutions/ industry,
and e) expanded education opportunities for physician-scientists (e.g., Nestle Nutrition
Develop seamless interactive clinical research program that engages large and diverse
Kentucky populations with these underlying metabolic diseases.
Develop an interdisciplinary basic science/translational core research group in the Metabolic
Diseases to interact with COBRE investigators and with each other.
Increase integration of Environmental/Toxicology groups focused on metabolic diseases from
across campuses
Expand proteomics/metabolomics and develop metagenomics program that will serve as a
fundamental resource for U of L.
Implement a metrics/tracking program to assess the program success.

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